In Nicaragua, fierce fighting has broken out in the capital Managua between left-wing Sandinist National Liberation Front guerrillas and government forces.
In Nicaragua, fierce fighting has broken out in the capital Managua between left-wing Sandinist National Liberation Front guerrillas and government forces. It is the second attempt by the Sandinistas in less government forces. It is the second attempt by the Sandinistas in less than a year to overthrow the right-wing administration of President Anastasio Somoza. Although the government claims the guerrillas do not have any widespread popular support, the Sandinistas appear to have control of several areas of Managua.
SYNOPSIS: This poor suburb of the capital, Las Americas Number Four, is typical of the districts held by the guerrillas. On Sunday (10 June) barricades appeared in the streets for the first time. Up until then most of the fighting had taken place at night and the change of tactics marked the beginning of a major move by the guerrillas to take power in the capital. The government responded by launching a powerful counter-offensive. After a day of fierce hand-to hand fighting, President Somoza ordered his Air Force to bomb the Sandinista strongholds.
There are unconfirmed reports that several hundred people were killed in the bombardment. The International Red Cross refused to comment on casualty figures but said about fifteen thousand slum dwellers had fled from the fighting and were being housed in emergency centres. Unofficial estimates put the number killed in the fighting since the beginning of the year at four thousand. President Somoza remains adamant that he will not resign and dismisses the Sandinist guerrillas as left-wing delinquents. In a news conference in Managua on Monday (11 June), he denied that the guerrillas had the support of the majority of Nicaraguans.